Best quotes by the Italian Writer Niccolo Machiavelli

Everyone sees what you appear to be, few experience what you really are.
  • inner

It is better to be feared than loved, if you cannot be both.
  • feared

If an injury has to be done to a man it should be so severe that his vengeance need not be feared.
  • political

Where the willingness is great, the difficulties cannot be great.
  • Will



Hatred is gained as much by good works as by evil.
  • Hate

He who wishes to be obeyed must know how to command.
  • Leadership

It is not titles that honor men, but men that honor titles.
  • Honor

It is much more secure to be feared than to be loved.
  • Perception

Politics have no relation to morals.
  • politics

Ambition is so powerful a passion in the human breast, that however high we reach we are never satisfied.
  • Ambition

One change always leaves the way open for the establishment of others.
  • Change

It is double pleasure to deceive the deceiver.
  • deceive

Before all else, be armed.
  • armed

Whosoever desires constant success must change his conduct with the times.
  • change

Men shrink less from offending one who inspires love than one who inspires fear.
  • Leadership

There is no avoiding war; it can only be postponed to the advantage of others.
  • War

The first method for estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the men he has around him.
  • first

Of mankind we may say in general they are fickle, hypocritical, and greedy of gain.
  • Humanity

Tardiness often robs us opportunity, and the dispatch of our forces.
  • Punctuality

The more sand has escaped from the hourglass of our life, the clearer we should see through it.
  • clearer

Princes and governments are far more dangerous than other elements within society.
  • Danger

Men in general judge more from appearances than from reality. All men have eyes, but few have the gift of penetration.
  • Judging

Benefits should be conferred gradually; and in that way they will taste better.
  • Kindness

God is not willing to do everything, and thus take away our free will and that share of glory which belongs to us.
  • Will

When you disarm the people, you commence to offend them and show that you distrust them either through cowardice or lack of confidence, and both of these opinions generate hatred.
  • commence

Men are more apt to be mistaken in their generalizations than in their particular observations.
  • Judging

The promise given was a necessity of the past: the word broken is a necessity of the present.
  • Promises

A prince never lacks legitimate reasons to break his promise.
  • Promises

Men sooner forget the death of their father than the loss of their patrimony.
  • Inheritance

There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things.
  • Leadership


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Niccolo Machiavelli war quotes

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There is no avoiding war; it can only be postponed to the advantage of others.
  • War

The main foundations of every state, new states as well as ancient or composite ones, are good laws and good arms you cannot have good laws without good arms, and where there are good arms, good laws inevitably follow.
  • War

It should be noted that when he seizes a state the new ruler ought to determine all the injuries that he will need to inflict. He should inflict them once and for all, and not have to renew them every day.
  • War

War is just when it is necessary; arms are permissible when there is no hope except in arms.
  • arms

War should be the only study of a prince. He should consider peace only as a breathing-time, which gives him leisure to contrive, and furnishes as ability to execute, military plans.
  • ability

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Niccolo Machiavelli leadership quotes

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He who wishes to be obeyed must know how to command.
  • Leadership

Men shrink less from offending one who inspires love than one who inspires fear.
  • Leadership

There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things.
  • Leadership

There is nothing more difficult to plan, more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to manage than the creation of a new order of things..... Whenever his enemies have occasion to attack the innovator they do so with the passion of partisans, while the others defend him sluggishly so that the innovator and his party alike are vulnerable.
  • Leadership

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Niccolo Machiavelli virtue quotes

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The fact is that a man who wants to act virtuously in every way necessarily comes to grief among so many who are not virtuous.
  • Virtue

We cannot attribute to fortune or virtue that which is achieved without either.
  • achieved

A prince must be prudent enough to know how to escape the bad reputation of those vices that would lose the state for him, and must protect himself from those that will not lose it for him, if this is possible; but if he cannot, he need not concern himself unduly if he ignores these less serious vices.
  • Virtue

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Niccolo Machiavelli first quotes

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The first method for estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the men he has around him.
  • first

A return to first principles in a republic is sometimes caused by the simple virtues of one man. His good example has such an influence that the good men strive to imitate him, and the wicked are ashamed to lead a life so contrary to his example.
  • ashamed

Men rise from one ambition to another: first, they seek to secure themselves against attack, and then they attack others.
  • against

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Niccolo Machiavelli judging quotes

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Men in general judge more from appearances than from reality. All men have eyes, but few have the gift of penetration.
  • Judging

Men are more apt to be mistaken in their generalizations than in their particular observations.
  • Judging

Men in general judge more by the sense of sight than by the sense of touch, because everyone can see, but only a few can test by feeling. Everyone sees what you seem to be, few know what you really are, and those few do not dare take a stand against the general opinion.
  • Judging

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A wise man will see to it that his acts always seem voluntary and not done by compulsion, however much he may be compelled by necessity.
  • Wisdom

For among other evils caused by being disarmed, it renders you contemptible; which is one of those disgraceful things which a prince must guard against.
  • against

One who deceives will always find those who allow themselves to be deceived.
  • allow

Severities should be dealt out all at once, so that their suddenness may give less offense; benefits ought to be handed ought drop by drop, so that they may be relished the more.
  • benefits



No enterprise is more likely to succeed than one concealed from the enemy until it is ripe for execution.
  • Goals

The one who adapts his policy to the times prospers, and likewise that the one whose policy clashes with the demands of the times does not.
  • Purpose

The fact is that a man who wants to act virtuously in every way necessarily comes to grief among so many who are not virtuous.
  • Virtue

We cannot attribute to fortune or virtue that which is achieved without either.
  • achieved

The new ruler must determine all the injuries that he will need to inflict. He must inflict them once and for all.
  • determine

Whoever conquers a free town and does not demolish it commits a great error and may expect to be ruined himself.
  • commits

Since it is difficult to join them together, it is safer to be feared than to be loved when one of the two must be lacking.
  • difficult

From this we learn that a wise prince sees to it that never, in order to attack someone, does he become the ally of a prince more powerful than himself, except when necessity forces him, as I said above. If you win, you are the powerful kings prisoner, and wise princes avoid as much as they can being in other mens power.

Because just as good morals, if they are to be maintained, have need of the laws, so the laws, if they are to be observed, have need of good morals.

The wish to acquire more is admittedly a very natural and common thing; and when men succeed in this they are always praised rather than condemned. But when they lack the ability to do so and yet want to acquire more at all costs, they deserve condemnation for their mistakes.
  • Greed

Many have dreamed up republics and principalities that have never in truth been known to exist; the gulf between how one should live and how one does live is so wide that a man who neglects what is actually done for what should be done learns the way to self-destruction rather than self-preservation.
  • Idealism

Men nearly always follow the tracks made by others and proceed in their affairs by imitation, even though they cannot entirely keep to the tracks of others or emulate the prowess of their models. So a prudent man should always follow in the footsteps of great men and imitate those who have been outstanding. If his own prowess fails to compare with theirs, at least it has an air of greatness about it. He should behave like those archers who, if they are skilful, when the target seems too distant, know the capabilities of their bow and aim a good deal higher than their objective, not in order to shoot so high but so that by aiming high they can reach the target.
  • Imitation

There are three kinds of intelligence; one kind understands things for itself, the other appreciates what others can understand, the third understands neither for itself nor through others. This first kind is excellent, the second good, and the third kind useless.
  • Intelligence

Men in general judge more by the sense of sight than by the sense of touch, because everyone can see, but only a few can test by feeling. Everyone sees what you seem to be, few know what you really are, and those few do not dare take a stand against the general opinion.
  • Judging

There is nothing more difficult to plan, more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to manage than the creation of a new order of things..... Whenever his enemies have occasion to attack the innovator they do so with the passion of partisans, while the others defend him sluggishly so that the innovator and his party alike are vulnerable.
  • Leadership

States that rise quickly, just as all the other things of nature that are born and grow rapidly, cannot have roots and ramifications; the first bad weather kills them.
  • Nation

Men seldom rise from low condition to high rank without employing either force or fraud, unless that rank should be attained either by gift or inheritance.
  • Power

I consider it a mark of great prudence in a man to abstain from threats or any contemptuous expressions, for neither of these weaken the enemy, but threats make him more cautious, and the other excites his hatred, and a desire to revenge himself.
  • Prudence

I hope and hoping feeds my pain I weep and weeping feeds my failing heartI laugh but the laughter does not pass withinI burn but the burning makes no mark outside
  • Reading

A prince must be prudent enough to know how to escape the bad reputation of those vices that would lose the state for him, and must protect himself from those that will not lose it for him, if this is possible; but if he cannot, he need not concern himself unduly if he ignores these less serious vices.
  • Virtue

The main foundations of every state, new states as well as ancient or composite ones, are good laws and good arms you cannot have good laws without good arms, and where there are good arms, good laws inevitably follow.
  • War

It should be noted that when he seizes a state the new ruler ought to determine all the injuries that he will need to inflict. He should inflict them once and for all, and not have to renew them every day.
  • War

A son can bear with equanimity the loss of his father, but the loss of his inheritance may drive him to despair.
  • bear

Hence it comes about that all armed Prophets have been victorious, and all unarmed Prophets have been destroyed.
  • armed

There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things.
  • conduct

Men are so simple and yield so readily to the desires of the moment that he who will trick will always find another who will suffer to be tricked.
  • another

Men ought either to be indulged or utterly destroyed, for if you merely offend them they take vengeance, but if you injure them greatly they are unable to retaliate, so that the injury done to a man ought to be such that vengeance cannot be feared.
  • destroyed

War is just when it is necessary; arms are permissible when there is no hope except in arms.
  • arms

War should be the only study of a prince. He should consider peace only as a breathing-time, which gives him leisure to contrive, and furnishes as ability to execute, military plans.
  • ability

To understand the nature of the people one must be a prince, and to understand the nature of the prince, one must be of the people.
  • nature

A return to first principles in a republic is sometimes caused by the simple virtues of one man. His good example has such an influence that the good men strive to imitate him, and the wicked are ashamed to lead a life so contrary to his example.
  • ashamed

Men rise from one ambition to another: first, they seek to secure themselves against attack, and then they attack others.
  • against

With regard to prudence and stability, I say a people is more prudent, more stable and more just than a prince.
  • politics

I'm not interested in preserving the status quo; I want to overthrow it.
  • political

It is not titles that reflect honor on men, but men on their titles.
  • titles


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Niccolo Machiavelli's Quotes About ...
War
Leadership
Virtue
First
Judging
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Part 4
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